Commentary & Forums

Re-framing Crime, Violence, and Poverty: new cinematic narratives of Black criminality in Imperial Dreams

Introduction: reframings

Redmond (2017) has noted that, in order to garner support for the punitive policies of the War on Drugs, Americans were presented with stories that framed those impacted by the war on drugs as enemies of the state. In the 1980’s, media outlets released a surge of stories covering the “crack crisis” that presented crime and drug use with a black face. Stories presented black males as “gangbangers” and played on historical stereotypes of black men being dangerous, predatory, criminals (Alexander 2012).

Films on the experience of inner city black Americans also reflected a negative image of these communities and their residents until around 1990. Before the 1990’s many films placed the blame for inner city problems primarily on the criminal actions of young black males (Alexander 2012, Brooks 1997).  For example, in the 1970’s, directors made movies about the experiences of black inner city Americans. These films were subsequently criticized for their exploitive depictions of urban black experience. This criticisms was in part due to the fact many of the these movies had white directors. This perception by commentators lead to the term “Blaxploitation” being coined in reference to films made in the era (Brooks 1997). Black character representation during this period was often as criminally deviant characters (Bausch 2013). It would be another 20 years before those subject to War on Drugs policy would start to be depicted as sympathetic characters (Brooks 1997).

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Tip of the Cap

Prisoners of Culture

This piece is a little different from previous iterations of “Tip of The Cap.”  Earlier entries into this series were written by published scholars, and they were written with an eye to filling in the blanks about how some classic works of criminology, sociology, anthropology, etc. shaped that work.  Here at Anthropoliteia we’re rebooting the series, but with a bit of a broader scope: we’re widening the net to include multiple formats and forms of inspiration.  The new “Tip of the Cap” will include pieces of various genres that have been influenced by, or are working through, the broader bibliography that’s now accruing for work on anthropology, security, crime and policing.  This short absurdist fiction piece, “Prisoners of Culture” comes to us from Johns Hopkins University undergraduate Andy Ramirez.  If you have a short piece that you think would fit well in the new rebooted series, send us an email at anthropoliteia@gmail.com with “Tip of the Cap” in the subject header.
 

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Call for papers

CFP [AAA 2018], Secura: Security as the Absence (and Presence) of Care

Please kindly consider the following panel proposal for the 2018 Annual Meeting for the American Anthropological Association (November 14-18, 2018 in San Jose, California). 

Panel Title: Secura: Security as the Absence (and Presence) of Care

Panel Organizer: Alex Jong-Seok Lee (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Panel Discussant: Jeffrey T. Martin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Security is ubiquitous. Didier Fassin describes it as “a keyword and a leitmotiv of national and international policies in many domains” (Security: A Conversation with the Authors 2008). Although traditionally within the purview of International Studies, security has emerged as a popular subject of anthropological study. Specifically, anthropology has enhanced our understanding of security’s relationship with topics like urban policing (Fassin 2013), migration and human rights (Burrell 2010), the National Security State (Price 1998), and biological weapons (i.e., “biosecurity”) (Collier, Lakoff, and Rabinow 2004)—among many others. Yet, security’s meaning(s) often remain(s) ill-defined. Likewise, most studies of security (though valuable) tend to focus on core concepts like the state, violence, war, and peace while the idea of security itself can produce a “masculine bias” (Sjoberg 2009). Hence, as an idea and ideal, security continually must be unpacked and situated within specific historical, political, and social contexts (Stewart and Choi 2012).

Etymologically, security denotes the removal (se) of “concern” or “care” (cura) and, therefore, implies a condition that is either carefree or careless (Hamilton 2013). That is, the condition of feeling secure necessitates the work of others in producing care. Recent anthropologies of care (Raijman and Schammah-Gesser 2003; Buch 2013; Baldassar and Merla 2013), chiefly those highlighting gendered migrant care labor, have grown. But few have foregrounded the complementary relationship between ostensibly distinct practices of care and security. How might viewing care—both in its presence and absence—and (in)security as mutually constitutive unveil the (invisible) feminized work behind managing individual and collective conflict? Similarly, how might posing security as a masculinized display of (un)caring practices highlight the performative dimensions of the former?

This panel follows interventions by feminist security studies (Ahall 2015), as well as calls for more critical comparative ethnographies of security (Goldstein 2010). It seeks papers that advance more inclusive understandings of security that highlight the centrality of gender and the everyday situatedness of securitizing acts. We ask: within which diverse local work contexts might an “ethics of care” (Gilligan 1982)—the theory that care’s core elements of sustaining human relationships and dependencies should achieve moral significance–manifest as a viable alternative to a rationalized perspective of “indifference” (Herzfeld 1992) and justice undergirding conventional logics of security? What are the conceptual and practical implications of productively disrupting pat distinctions between the labor of care and security? For example, in what ways might care labor also serve to (re)produce modes of social inclusion and exclusion? Likewise, how might viewing security as embodied acts of absent (and present) care shift our knowledge about global regimes of gendered (e.g., care, affective, intimate) labor, precarity, and agency?

If you would like to participate in this panel, please send a 250-word abstract of your paper presentation by Friday, April 9, 2018 to Alex Lee (lee828@illinois.edu). 

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DragNet

DragNet: February 1 – February 15, 2018

ACLU PICK

Image from ACLU.org

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DragNet

DragNet: January 16 – January 31, 2018

lyons--bearcat

Image from projects.bettergov.org

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Conferences

Papers and Panels of Interest at the 2017 American Anthropological Association Meeting

presidential-lecture_feature

Once again, it is that very special time of year: The American Anthropological Association’s 116th Annual Meeting. This year in Washington, D.C.

As impassioned followers of this blog know, we like to curate a list of sessions and papers of interest to our readers.  This year we’ve created a Google Calendar, which you can find embedded below and import into your own.  Be sure to keep an eye on @anthropoliteia’s twitter feed as well, where you’ll find coverage of the #AmAnth2017 hashtag with which several participants will be live-tweeting sessions and other events.

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Conferences

Papers and Panels of Interest at the 2017 American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting

conference_image

We have big news. This year is the 73rd Annual meeting of the

American Society of Criminology. For the first time, Anthropoliteia is offering up a list of papers and panels to check out for anyone that finds themselves in The City of Brotherly Love.

As impassioned followers of this blog know, we like to curate a list of sessions and papers of interest to our readers. We’ve created a schedule, which can be found below.

Under each event is a URL that provides more details about participants and sub-topics.

Be sure to keep an eye on @anthropoliteia’s twitter feed as well, where you’ll find coverage of the #ASCPhilly hashtag with which several participants will be live-tweeting sessions and other events.

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